Employee Benefits

Our Michigan Employee Benefit Fund Attorneys

Watkins, Pawlick, Calati & Prifti provides a full range of legal services to our benefit fund clients and fiduciaries, including:

  • plan design and drafting,
  • document and application drafting,
  • negotiation and preparation of service provider contracts,
  • pension requalification and tax exempt services,
  • review and supervision of governmental filings,
  • regulatory compliance,
  • preparation/editing of meeting minutes,
  • reciprocity matters,
  • delinquent contribution collection,
  • employer withdrawal liability assessment and collection, and
  • advice and counsel concerning all individual participant matters such as

    – benefit denials and appeals,
    – benefit litigation,
    – determination of QDRO status,
    – IRS levies,
    – garnishments,
    – subpoenas for information,
    – powers of attorney,
    – subrogation,
    – conservator/guardian matters, and
    – suspension of benefits matters.

Some of our fund clients, particularly self-administered clients, are also employers (by virtue of their engagement of fund employees) and/or owners of property on which fund buildings are located. We advise them with respect to those matters as well.

Rather than expend client resources extricating our clients from legal trouble, our focus has always been to help our clients avoid legal trouble. A large part of ERISA is about process — commonly called due diligence. Making sure that the right process and procedures are in place and followed when contracts are prepared, when investments are made, when plan documents are drafted, when service providers are engaged, when participant claims and appeals are handled, and when decisions are made, is better than the best insurance that money can buy — and far less expensive.

We have a large and diverse practice with respect to Taft-Hartley funds. If there is a service provider, proposal or concept that might affect your funds, we have likely already reviewed it in another context for another client or can split our review with other clients facing similar situations.

Up-to-Date Taft-Hartley Expertise and Resources

Taft-Hartley benefit plans represent one the most-highly regulated aspects of the economy. We constantly review new laws, regulations, cases and commentary in addition to attending and actively participating in educational seminars.  

First, we assign an attorney to follow developments in any law or regulation that significantly revises ERISA or the ERISA-related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.  That attorney instructs the others on the most salient points for our clients and serves as our resident expert on such issues going forward. We are often first among our peers to provide clients with insight into the practical aspects of how a new law may impact their fund.  By better understanding the law, our clients can focus on the real options available and how to best serve the interests of their fund’s participants and beneficiaries within an evolving legal framework.

Second, to help stay on top of legal developments, we maintain multiple electronic information services and paper/library resources.  These resources include daily e-mail notices of developments in case law, regulations and pending legislation.

For More Information

Read more below about specific types of funds and areas of focus in our employee benefits fund practice. For additional information, we welcome you to contact WPCP.

Pension Funds

Defined benefit pension funds are a significant focus of our overall practice. We provide legal advice and guidance for all aspects impacting our pension fund clients. From Plan drafting and general compliance matters to all aspects of individual p… Read More

Annuity Funds

Defined contribution pension funds, or annuity funds, are another focus of our overall practice. We provide legal advice and guidance for all aspects impacting our annuity fund clients, from plan drafting and general compliance matters to all aspect… Read More

Health and Welfare Funds

Health and welfare funds are a significant focus of our overall practice. We provide legal advice and guidance for all aspects impacting our health fund clients, from plan drafting and general compliance matters to all aspects of individual particip… Read More

Apprenticeship Funds

Apprenticeship funds can offer unique challenges. They are more likely to own real property and have employees. Accordingly, we provide additional services tied to those activities, as well as assistance with apprenticeship regulatory compliance. Read More

Other Funds

In addition to pension, annuity, health and apprenticeship funds, we provide employee benefit services to supplemental unemployment funds, vacation and holiday funds, labor management cooperation committees, legal service plans and other types of emp… Read More

Collection Programs

Our collections attorneys have decades of experience in working with multiemployer collection programs covering a variety of industries. We have established programs from their inception, including the establishment and enforcement of collection poli… Read More